Julian Draxler has hinted he only stayed with Schalke for this season to make Germany's World Cup squad.
Draxler is part of the Germany squad this evening to face Austria in their next World Cup qualifying match and the 19-year-old has offered Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City a glimmer of hope over his future.
Draxler’s aim for this season seems very clear; play as much first team football as possible to ensure he’s one of the youngsters named in Germany’s World Cup squad.
Any side from that group of three has the resources to pay what would likely be a huge fee for his transfer, but he’s looked at the risk involved and taken the decision to temporarily remain one of Schalke’s main men.
“The World Cup is at the end of the season and you always need time to get used to a new team – I want to be in the first team with my club and take on more responsibility. That’s the only way I can play myself into contention for the national team,” he told the official Fifa website.
If the teenager sees staying at Schalke as the main idea behind getting a place in Germany’s World Cup squad, then it could mean he’s available after the tournament in Brazil next year.
He recently signed a contract extension with the German club with a €45.5 million release clause inserted into the deal, which guarantees Schalke getting a good price if he is harbouring intentions of moving on in the near future.
His gratitude, admiration and respect for the chances that Schalke have so far given him are very clear so it’s unlikely that he would have moved before those recent negotiations because there was no guarantee Schalke would get top dollar for him.
Assessing the chances of the Premier League sides linked to him, Arsenal and Chelsea would probably be the favourite sides to get him.
Firstly, they are both London based clubs which will appeal to such a young man and they both have a very good recent record of fielding younger players in their first teams.
They are also more likely than Manchester City to make such a huge investment in a younger player, with City seemingly keener to inject established footballers into their starting eleven.
However, Arsenal have two of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League in the form of Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil, which means Arsene Wenger may not follow up on an initial offer for the German.
Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City all have very good existing squads of midfielders, which means there would most likely have to be a departure from that area of the squad for a club to strongly push on to try and do a deal for Draxler, which would ultimately be one of the most expensive deals for a teenager in history.
What do you think? Will Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester City take that gamble? Do Arsenal need him now they have Ozil?
image: © achimh